‘High Flight’ is the story of a boy who was just fifteen. He was handsome, clever and a bit of a loner. From his earliest childhood he had developed a love of nature born in him from spending many weeks in the beautiful wilderness that is Northern New Mexico. There were holidays with his loving family and many happy days with his older siblings. He loved camping and fishing and was ever curious about the ancient pueblo peoples who once inhabited the land around Taos. He found potshards and arrowheads and dreamed of another civilization. Then, when he took his first flight in a small aircraft he found a new love. He must learn to fly and he began at the age of twelve to take flying lessons. It was his passion! He built model airplanes and covered every inch of his bedroom walls with photos of aircraft. He watched “Top Gun” a hundred times and idolized Tom Cruise. He was quick and smart and he was on his way to his pilot’s license and a shining future in the air.
But, on the day before his fifteenth birthday, Ian Simms was attending graduation ceremonies for his step brother, Adam Mecham . His father, Albert Simms III, a prominent attorney and his mother, Ellary, a school teacher were active participants in the Taos community and members of their extended family had come from New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona to be present at the graduation ceremonies. Later that same day, Ian and his friend ,Kye, planned a ‘survival trip’ which began with driving to the gloriously scenic wilderness known as Los Brazos some miles from the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico where Ian and his family presently resided.
In the early evening, Ian and Kye attended one or two parties prior to setting out on their camping trip. Ian, who was really not a party animal and did not drink, decided to catch a few winks in Kye’s truck after the first party but Kye, at seventeen, was far more social. He entered into the party scene and in the course of the evening, while Ian slept , downed a considerable amount of beer. Ian awoke with a start as Kye, now driving the truck, began to race along the high way on the way to Tres Piedras , a small community some thirty miles north west of Taos. Ian clicked on his seat belt as he nervously watched the speedometer moved higher and higher. Suddenly, he was aware that the horizon was moving in a circular direction and in the next few seconds his life changed dramatically and decisively forever. From that moment on Ian’s life rested in the hands of many. The van that came along the road filled with people, the ambulance with the trauma crew, the brilliant surgeons who just happened to be on duty at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos that dark night, the Lifeguard Helicopter which took his broken semi-lifeless body to Albuquerque, the trauma staff and neuro staff at the University of New Mexico Hospital, the spiritual power of his mother, the constant strength of his father who was a Vietnam war veteran, the pueblo woman and the shaman. the rehabilitation staff and the months of intense pain and effort that became a way of life for this gentle boy who was thrust suddenly into manhood with none of the joys and pleasures of adolescence experienced by all his school friends...
Ian Simms was born and raised in New Mexico. When he was seven, his father , an attorney, bought a small ranch north of Taos where he and his two brothers and a sister lived for a time surrounded by a lovely wilderness. Here, Ian’s love of the outdoors grew along with his interest in flying. At twelve, he began his flying lessons at the small Taos airport and for two years until he was the innocent victim of a traumatic motor accident, he lived a very happy normal life. All of this changed in seconds and he entered a new phase of pain and trial . At just age fifteen, Ian faced years of rehabilitation. With great courage and determination, he has succeeded to make a new life for himself. He graduated from high school and went on to college . He continues his flying and for a while owned his own small plane. Then, he sold it and with the money bought a plot of land on the beautiful Taos Mesa near the Taos Airport. He built a strawbale house and a small carpentry shop where he is presently perfecting his skills making furniture. He enjoys writing and hopes that his story will inspire others faced with physical hardships to persist. His belief in miracles is strong and his wish is that others will gain strength and faith from his message.